Monday, May 21, 2012

GLR 2012 300K Brevet

When I arrived in Delavan Wisconsin it was already in the upper 60's at 6:30 in the morning. And for a spring day this was a bit unusual! For the 200K it was on the chilly side with winds out of the east with 50 degree temperatures.

For this 300K this early morning was just a prelude to things to come as the day progressed.
The ride started out with a slow roll out of town followed by a high speed roll into Brodhead Wisconsin with speeds over 25 mph in the lead group for some of the flat sections.

The main pace generation came from a couple of very strong riders and most were just hanging on for dear life with the smart ones opting for a bit slower pace for a long day in the saddle. I was not among the sane opting for a sane pace but felt strong to beyond that first check point until the heat kicked in.

After the first check point the hills really started kicking in to the second check point in New Glarus Wisconsin.
For me and many other riders the effects of this early season heat started taking its toll. On the long 3/4 mile plus 10% climbs the heat would just come up from the road and at least for me I was not used to that kind of heat that early in the season.

When I arrived in Barneveld Wisconsin and I was one of the first there I made a decision to get off the bike for awhile and avoid what for me was a case of heat exhaustion if I were to continue that ride at the pace I was riding. And so many other riders ended up there for a brake and something to eat. I was there for about an hour and after that I left with a group of riders traveling at a much slower pace.

From that point on my Brevet day turned in to a day to survive and a day to find a way to get to the finish.
I had severe leg cramps from this point until the last check point in spite of taking supplements and fine energy replacement drinks and it was just one of those days on the bike!

For me on this particular Brevet it was psychological battle which came down to not even looking up to the top of a hill! Breaking up a long climb with the pain in my legs concentrating on a tree or a road sign or a driveway!

So, working through those issues and not quiting and just hanging in there I made it to that last check point in Edgerton Wisconsin. And with a short stop and a roll out my legs started to feel better and I  hooked up with a couple of other guys to finish out this Brevet. For the last 20 miles of the Brevet the cramps left and my power returned and I finished strong.

Nothing goes according to plan on any Brevet but finding a way to finish is the goal. These are not races but more of challenging oneself to the course. Of course there is that friendly competition among riders and Brevets are the obvious events to train for ultra cycling racing if one wants to step up his/her cycling to the elite level....



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